In this Book

University of Minnesota Press
summary
A Native American proverb states that “yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood, only today does the fire burn brightly.” This series of essays, set in the north woods of Minnesota, is woven around the theme of the importance of being alive and aware in the present. Deeply rooted in the natural world, The Snow Lotus shares the philosophical and emotional insights author Peter M. Leschak has acquired from a life lived close to nature. Each chapter in The Snow Lotus revolves around a single moment, illuminating those instants that approach epiphany. Exploring the myriad interrelationships between the natural world he inhabits and his constant struggle for transcendence and self-awareness, the tales Leschak relates encompass both the humor and the pathos day-to-day life can acquire when lived consciously. Leschak peoples his essays with a colorful gallery of characters-his wife, Pam, his firefighting companions, his trusted dog, The Reverend. He recounts finding a still-warm deer bed early one autumn morning, taking a sauna with friends, seeing flying squirrels at his bird feeder. He tells of adventures while cross-county skiing, or hiking in the mountains of Mexico, evoking a strong sense of place, of the rhythm of small-town life, of long winters and brilliant night skies. Through his stories Leschak shares the wisdom he has gleaned from his personal “eternal moments,” arguing that for humans there is a path to eternity, a path that is thorny and steep but whose passage is in plain view if only we will see it. The Snow Lotus is one guide to that path. Excerpt: “The forest was snow-covered, and ethereally dazzling beneath the late-November moon. The fir trees were crystalline spires, and even stark shadows were brightened by reflected light. I looked down and saw two deer, ghostly in the lunar effulgence . . . They bolted into the woods-shades and silhouettes vanishing beneath the laden boughs of a balsam fir. I've witnessed countless deer at night, but all in the glare of headlights; I had never glimpsed them in moon glow, in their natural demeanor of phantoms.”

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. p. ix
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xi
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  1. Deer Beds: A Prologue
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. The Snow Lotus
  2. pp. 5-10
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  1. Snow White and the Timberwolf
  2. pp. 11-18
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  1. Blue Velvet Number Nine
  2. pp. 19-26
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  1. The Cosmos and Lysistrata
  2. pp. 27-32
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  1. A Damn Idiot
  2. pp. 33-40
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  1. Washing the Sky to Amber
  2. pp. 41-50
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  1. The Guts of God
  2. pp. 51-58
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  1. Later
  2. pp. 59-66
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  1. The Awesome Triple-L
  2. pp. 67-78
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  1. Ditching the Future
  2. pp. 79-90
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  1. Nasty Business
  2. pp. 91-104
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  1. Total Eclipse of the Clouds
  2. pp. 105-110
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  1. Blood Walk
  2. pp. 111-118
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  1. The Magic Puck
  2. pp. 119-126
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  1. Tilting Round the Far Spruce
  2. pp. 127-132
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  1. An Easy Winter
  2. pp. 133-156
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  1. Smoking Mountain
  2. pp. 157-162
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  1. Farewells
  2. pp. 163-166
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 167-167
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